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Periodic Review - GOC 2021/22

20 Mar 2023
  • 2022
  • Performance Reviews

Key facts & figures:

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Regulates the practice of optometrists, dispensing opticians, students and optical businesses in the United Kingdom
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30,189 professionals and 2,884 optical businesses on its register (as at 31 December 2022)
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£360 annual fee for registration

Standards of good regulation met:

Total standards met:

18 out of 18

General standards:

5 out of 5

Guidance & Standards:

2 out of 2

Education & Training:

2 out of 2


4 out of 4

Fitness to Practise:

5 out of 5


For this review, the GOC met 18 out of 18 of our Standards of Good Regulation. These Standards provide the benchmark against which we review performance. Meeting or not meeting a Standard is not the full story about how a regulator is performing. Our report provides more detail about the GOC’s performance this year. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

We have seen the GOC demonstrate its commitment to issues around EDI in a number of ways again this year. It now has a comprehensive set of registrant EDI data going back a number of years, and has started collecting EDI data as part of its annual public perceptions survey; this data will provide the GOC with robust evidence from which it can draw informed conclusions and take appropriate action. We encourage the GOC to share good practice and lessons learned from its work in this area with other regulators.

Fitness to practise timeliness

We have been critical of the time it has taken the GOC to progress cases through its fitness to practise system for a number of years. However, the GOC has maintained the improvements in timeliness we saw last year, and its performance now compares favourably against the other regulators. We recognise the work that has gone into making these improvements and are pleased to report that the GOC has met Standard 15 this year. The GOC continues to identify opportunities to improve, and has an ongoing programme of work that should positively affect the timeliness of its fitness to practise processes.

Communications and stakeholder support

Although much of the feedback we received from stakeholders this year was positive, we did receive some critical comments about how the GOC had handled the implementation of two major projects: the new Education and Training Requirements (ETR); and the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) system. We were also told about the impact that delays to removals at the end of the 2019-21 Continuing Education and Training (CET) cycle had on registrants.


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